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Simon Cooper President and COO of Ritz-Carlton named 2008 Corporate Hotelier of the World

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Simon F. Cooper, president and chief operating officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, has been named 2008 “Corporate Hotelier of the World” by HOTELS magazine. The award, determined by votes cast by more than 60,000 readers in 170 countries, was presented during a ceremony held on Wednesday (5 November) at The Marriott Marquis in New York City.

Cooper was described in a HOTELS magazine cover story as a “consummate professional with a distinguished career who has earned the respect of his colleagues and peers”.

Editor-in-chief Jeff Weinstein credits Cooper with leading the evolution of the iconic Ritz-Carlton brand from a conservative and formal profile to a “service culture that would be keeping with a new generation of luxury guests…as traditional positioning would undermine the future of the organization”. In his comments about the changes he has overseen to The Ritz-Carlton brand, Cooper cited a favorite quote from former U.S. Army General John Shalikeshvili, “If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less”.

Simon Cooper joined The Ritz-Carlton in February 20001 after a distinguished career with Marriott International, where he served three years as president of Marriott Lodging Canada. Born in England, but a citizen of Canada, his first hospitality job was with Canadian Pacific Hotels & Resorts. Among his many professional honors, Cooper has served on the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Canada Institute Advisory Board and as Chairman of the Board of Governors for the prestigious University of Guelph. He is an avid golfer and a member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Since becoming President and COO at The Ritz-Carlton, Cooper has presided over a major expansion of the brand which now numbers 72 hotels in countries around the world. Within the next few years, that number is expected to reach 100 and will include private residences, fractional ownership, and serviced apartments.

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